If I'm reading your "Sounds good and reasonable .." post
by CJC (2019-02-11 11:00:38)
Edited on 2019-02-11 11:02:39

In reply to: I'm not sure it does either, but it makes it more difficult  posted by BabaGhanouj

correctly, you're using a single statistic (assists per game for both teams) to (1) refute Terry's observation ("it's not true") and (2) support your claim that the Notre Dame and UConn offenses are substantially similar ("Both offenses are pass first").

I don't want to speak for Terry, but I'm of the opinion that the two offenses are materially different, at least in their execution over the past few years. Without the benefit of supporting data, my observations lead me to conclude that Notre Dame's offense involves much more dribbling and much more dribbling that doesn't involve attacking the basket than does UConn's.

As I did originally, I acknowledge that I don't have any data at my immediate disposal to support (or undermine) my claim. You offered a single data point, which is certainly a step in the right direction.

However, I remain of the opinion that the data point you offered is insufficient in and of itself to declare Terry's observation "not true," and to definitively conclude that both offenses operate as "pass first."

To elaborate on the questions I previously posed, I think the raw number of assists (average assists per game) fails to take into account a number of factors that are relevant to the discussion at hand.

For starters, the percentage of teams field goals which are the product of an assist would be somewhat helpful. An average of 19.6 for a team that averages 100 field goals per game would paint a different (partial) picture than an average of 19.6 for a team that averages 20 field goals per game. (Obviously, those field goal numbers are made up for the purpose of illustrating my point.)

Further, for the purpose of this discussion, it's reasonable to exclude from the number of field goals examined those which are the immediate result of an offensive rebound (rarely an opportunity for a pass/assist) and also those that are the product of transition/fast breaks (assists are certainly important in that context, but that doesn't speak to the nature of a team's halfcourt offense).

At the end of the day, you've offered more data than Terry and I (infinitely more, I think). But we're all a long way from having enough data to make such definitive statements, as far as I'm concerned.

Someday, we'll have data like number of passes per possession; number of dribbles per possession; we'll be able to gauge productive possessions vs. non-productive possessions (interesting debate about those definitions) and compare passing volume and dribbling volume between those possessions; etc., etc., etc.

And I suspect we'll still want to hold on to "the eye test," no matter how much data we get.

I suppose the ultimate eye test is winning!